Do you have a question about relationships and flirting?

You can email me about any of your relationship and flirtation questions, and I'll be happy to address them in my blog. Won't that be fun! Its very Dear Abby, but hey...I'm just as good as she is! Just put "Dear Ottis" in the subject. Make sure your letters are annoymous though, to protect you and me. Send all questions to

Friday, June 4, 2010

East Coast Extravaganza: The Plantations - Boone and Magnolia

One of the highlights of this trip for me was seeing two of the many plantations in the south. I have often felt that this was the life I was mean to lead. . . not that I want to own a plantation, just a plantation house. They are neo-colonial renaissance style houses that fit me wonderfully. What was very interesting to me was to learn that both of the plantations that we visited are still privately owned, with the family still living on the property, and sometimes in the house.

Boone Hall: This house may look very familiar to you if you've seen The Notebook or North and South as it was featured in both movies. I've only seen the former. It was used as Allie's summer residence with her family. Boone Hall is also famous for the avenue of oaks. This long driveway is lined with ancient Live Oak trees that have spanish moss dangling delicately from their branches. They are quite the sight to behold. Stunning really. It is such a dramatic way to enter the property. Something that I'll probably have to do when I have my large estate.

We began by looking at the old slave houses which have been turned into a multi-room/building slave exhibit. It was interesting to look at. Each house had audio and would tell you about the life of the slaves: how they worshiped, worked, lived, and all about their Gullah culture. Their slave houses were small, and bare. Yet, the slaves would have been packed into each one. Boone Hall was one of the plantations with the highest quantity of slaves.

The house was amazing, and like with Vernon, we couldn't take pictures of the inside. Go figure. It was actually built within the last hundred years. It is the third house to be built on the lot. This one is very colonial though built in the 30s. It is completed with massive white columns in the front. The guide was dressed in era clothing, and was the nicest woman ever. She was very knowledgeable about all of the antiques and paintings. She also told us the history of the house.

Let me tell you about my two favorite rooms. The first was the parlor/music room/library. I'll be having one of these in my house. This is exactly the type of room that we talk about in french and music classes when we discuss musique de salon or musique de chambre. Equiped with an antique piano and lots of sitting space, you could see in your mind's eye the hostess of the house gathering her guests to hear her daughter entertain them with some kind of piano movement. It was also used as their library, and had a substantial collection of antique books. The other room I loved was the dining room. It had a good 15 ft dining room table, that could be expanded to seat 24. The room was large, light, and filled with antiques. It was an absolutely beautiful room. This is how food should be served in a house!

Finally we took a peek in the butterfly pavilion. Unfortulately we only saw two butterflies. But, what we did see took us right back to France. I'm not sure of the name of this flower in english, but in France it is known as the Passion of the Christ flower because its several layers depict the events during Christ's Passion. Its a beautiful flower.This was an all around fun plantation to see. It's definitely a place to go if you are ever in the Charleston area.

Magnolia Plantation: This plantation located not far from Charleston is absolutely stunning. The plantation was used to make bricks and fresh produce. Even today the plantation supplies much of the food for the local farmer's market. The plantation is on a several hundred acre lot and contains a large swamp area.
While we were there, we were caught in a huge thunderstorm. It was dumping rain. It was my first experience with the huge downpours of the south. Sure, it rains a lot in Oregon. That is more of a constant drizzle, and its cold rain. In the south, the rain just dumps. Dumps. And the rain is warm, not to mention the weather is hot and muggy. When it started raining, I instinctively put on my coat. James said I wouldn't need it. . . he was right. It was the strangest experience ever.

We took our little tour of the house, and it is pretty substantial residence. The house is 3 stories and part of it is still used as a private residence. We toured the top 2 floors since the bottom floor was turned into a gift shop/museum. We waited for the tour on the large veranda that surrounds the house. It was wonderful for watching the storm. James and I sat there peacefully for a few minutes just soaking up the wonderful view before we entered the house. The tour guide was pretty good, though not nearly as entertaining as the woman from Boone hall. The house had some amazing rooms, and gave me some good inspirations for when I do my house. I'll need a big porch to watch storms from. I'll need some good porcelain to display in my house. And last but not least, I'll be needing a very large and overbearing portrait of myself for the fireplace.
Next we explored the gardens. Going through those gardens in quite the task. They are huge. There is even a maze in them. We didn't really attempt the maze because of the rain and because we were too tall, but it was a cool thing. The gardens had lots of paths and was a maze in and of itself. It had a variety of cool flowers, plants, and trees. It also had many little ponds and bridges. Some of the scenes reminded me of the many Monet painting of Japanese gardens. It was really just a cool garden. Something that every real estate needs.

Lastly, we went to the swamp garden. They have a little walking tour of the swamp with wood walkways and bridges and so forth. It was my first time ever being in or seeing a real swamp. It was so exciting. I enjoyed hearing the "music of the swamp" as we walked the solemn path. I'm not gonna deny that I secretly was hoping to see an alligator or crocodile. . . or some Australian wildlife expert the whole time. Sadly, there was no such sighting, only a bunch of birds. Oh well, it was still very exciting.

No comments:

Post a Comment